Land expropriation without compensation: Public hearings to begin in June

Starting in June, Parliament’s constitutional review committee is set to embark on a roadshow to all nine provinces to hold public hearings for the proposed amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution.

Section 25 deals with land expropriation without compensation and property rights.

In February, Parliament adopted a motion for a constitutional review, referring the matter to the committee — chaired by ANC MP Vincent Smith — to begin the process of making it possible for the state to expropriate land without compensation.

READ MORE: Land expropriation without compensation? On these conditions

The committee is made up of 24 National Assembly and National Council of Provinces members.

Parliament goes on recess from June 15 which will allow the committee to travel in two teams to hold at least three meetings in each province starting from June 26 until August 4.

The committee, which is obligated to facilitate public participation, had initially called for written submissions on the necessity and mechanisms for land expropriation without compensation to be submitted before the closing date of May 31.

Following the deluge of submissions — the committee received over 140 000 from the opening date on April 13 and May 8 — the deadline was extended to June 15. This extension was to allow the committee to go through the submissions and separate the real submissions from automated responses sent in bulk.

READ MORE: Land committee receives 140 000 submissions, faces ‘nightmare’ planning for hearings

There will also be an opportunity for members of the public to make oral submissions in Parliament from August 7 to 17 based on their written submissions.

Once the committee has heard from the public, policy makers, civil society organisations and academics, the committee will then report back to the National Assembly on September 11 with their recommendations on the process of land expropriation without expropriation.

Civic technology organisation OpenUp has made the process easier by creating an online tool to allow members of the public to give their written submission via a questionnaire.

Send in your submission before June 15 here.

Interested in attending a public hearing? Find out when the one closest to you is taking place below.

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